Hosts Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood kicked off the 2019 CMA Awards' opening medley with "Those Memories of You" a cut from the 1987 album Trio. The all-star opening was dedicated to the women of country music and included a tribute to Loretta Lynn with Jennifer Nettles and Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman performing Lynn's 1971 song "You're Lookin' At Country."
Female artists from throughout the decades were represented, including Gretchen Wilson, who performed her No. 1 hit "Redneck Woman," Crystal Gayle ("Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"), Terri Clark ("Better Things To Do"), Sara Evans ("Born to Fly"). Martina McBride helped wrap up the medley with the Gretchen Peters-penned "Independence Day,"
In recent years, women have struggled to get their songs played on country radio -- a fact that didn't go unacknowledged.
"We're doing it for all the little girls watching tonight dreaming of ruling country music or maybe just ruling the world," McEntire said.
Stay tuned to Wide Open Country for more live coverage of the 2019 CMA Awards. You can check out the full list of award winners here.